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Blood-Borne and Sexually Transmitted Infections Among IDUs and Their Partners in the Western Hemisphere: Exchange of Experiences and Lessons Learned

[Introduction] [Agenda] [Abstracts] [Recommendations] [Biographical Sketches] [Participants]

Biographical Sketches

Franklin Alcaraz del Castillo, M.D.
Latin American Center of Scientific Investigation, La Paz, Bolivia

Dr. Franklin Alcaraz del Castillo is a surgeon from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz, Bolivia. He received his diploma in Specialized Medicine (D.S.M - Hematology) at the University of Vienna, Austria. He received a Masters in Public Health of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. At present, he is the Executive Director of the Latin American Centre of Scientific Investigation.

David C. Bell, Ph.D.
Affiliated Systems Corporation, Houston. United States

David C. Bell, Ph.D., is Senior Research Associate at Affiliated Systems Corporation, Houston, a private research organization. He is currently conducting a longitudinal study of changes in drug user networks over time.

María José Bravo Portela, M.D., MPH
State Office for the National Plan on Drugs in Madrid, Spain

Dr. Bravo Portela has been working since 1987 in the field of health problems related to drug use and drug injection. Currently she is in charge of the Research and Evaluation Service at the State Office for the National Plan on Drugs in Madrid. Her recent works focus mainly on epidemiological research on HIV risk behaviors among IDUs in Spain and factors implicated in the changes of route for heroin or cocaine administration.

Stephen Crystal, Ph.D.
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, United States

Stephen Crystal is a Sociologist, Director of the AIDS Research Group and Research Professor at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. He previously served as Chief of the Division of Health Care Sciences, University of California San Diego School of Medicine. He is a health services researcher who, since 1986, has directed a series of studies on health care of persons with HIV in the U.S. He is author of more than 50 articles and reports on HIV care and policy issues and has served on numerous governmental review committees and advisory groups on HIV.

Silvana De Castro, M.D.
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Silvana De Castro is a medical doctor (anesthesiologist & neuroscientist) graduated from the University of Rio de Janeiro Medical School. For the last three years she has worked as a clinical research fellow in anesthesiology and in intensive care at the Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland. She is currently conducting research on Adherence to addiction therapies (tobacco and opioids) for the World Health Organization - Geneva.

Jerry Flanzer, D.S.W.
Services and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, United States

Jerry Flanzer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Substance Abuse and Relapse Prevention Counselor, with a DSW from the University of Southern California. He is Acting Chief of the Services Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Flanzer taught social work at the University of Wisconsin and Arkansas at Little Rock, while at the same time directing the Mid American Institute on Violence in Families and the Arkansas Alcohol and Adolescent Abuse Project. Upon moving to the Washington DC area, Dr. Flanzer directed a clinical substance abuse program, and taught as a visiting professor at the graduate programs of Catholic University, Virginia Commonwealth and Howard University. He has remained active as a grants reviewer and in professional organizations, and continues to add to his more than 100 publications. He is the past Chair of the Steering Committee of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) section of the National Association of Social Workers. His primary research interests have been in service delivery systems particularly in the areas of adolescent substance abuse, dual diagnoses and substance abuse and family violence.

Henry (Skip) Francis, M.D.
Center on Aids & Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, National Institute on Drug Abuse, United States

Henry L. Francis received his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. in 1978. He did his clinical training in internal medicine at the University of California's Long Beach Veteran's Hospital and received his infectious disease training at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Francis served as a Medical Staff Fellow at the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Since 1998, he is Director of NIDA's Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (CAMCODA), which develops multidisciplinary national and international research programs on HIV/AIDS and drug abuse topics. Dr. Francis also served as a Branch Chief of the NIDA's Division of Clinical and Services Research; as the NIAID Expert Consultant in Ghana on an Onchocerciasis Project; and as Director of the PHS & Belgian Project AIDS in Kinshasa, Zaire. Other positions include Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Special Assistant to the NIAID Intramural Director, Medical Director of the Baltimore City Health Department's Early HIV Intervention Program and STD clinics and Principal Medical Officer of the Johns Hopkins Broadway Center, IV Drug User Intervention Program. Dr. Francis has written numerous HIV/AIDS articles published in highly-acclaimed journals such as JAMA, Lancet, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics, Acquired Immunology Deficiency Syndrome (JAIDS), New England Journal of Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Silvia Inchaurraga, M.D., Ph.D.
Drug Abuse and AIDS Advanced Studies Center National University of Rosario, Argentina

Silvia Inchaurraga is a psychologist with a Masters in Drug Abuse from the University of Barcelona, Spain and a Masters in Psychopathology from the University of Madrid, Spain. She is Director of the Advanced Studies Center on Drug Abuse and AIDS (CEADS) of the National University of Rosario, Argentina. She is the Principal Investigator of the World Health Organization (WHO) Multicenter Study on Intravenous Drug Use, President of the Argentine Harm Reduction Association (ARDA) and Executive Secretary of the Latin American Harm Reduction Network (RELARD). Dr. Inchaurraga is author of numerous articles published in scientific journals and several books on drug use, public policies and harm reduction.

Patricia Insúa, Ph.D.
University of the Basque Country, Spain

Patricia Insúa has a doctorate in Psychology. Currently she is Professor of Psychology at the University of the Basque Country. She carries out work in different fields: Psychology of the Basic Processes, Drug Abuse and Drug Dependence, and AIDS. Over the last several years she has been Director of the Training Program for Trainers in Programs for the Prevention of HIV Transmission among Intravenous Drug Users organized for the National Drug Abuse Plan and the University of the Basque Country for Spanish health care professionals.

Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D.
Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (CAMCODA), National Institute on Drug Abuse, United States

Dr. Jag Khalsa is a Pharmacologist and Health Scientist Administrator at the Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (CAMCODA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Currently he is responsible for developing and administering a national and international program of research on Medical and Health Consequences of Drug Abuse, including metabolic, endocrine and gastrointestinal disorders in drug addicts with or without HIV infection; pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic drug-drug interactions among drugs of abuse, and pharmacotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of infections (HIV, HCV) and drug addiction; and misuse of prescription drugs. Dr. Khalsa has several publications in the field of pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology and medicine. He can be reached via e-mail at:

Mary Latka, MPH, Ph.D.
New York Academy of Medicine, New York. United States

Mary Latka is an epidemiologist and serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies at the New York Academy of Medicine. She completed a MPH and PhD in epidemiology from Columbia University and a post-doctoral fellowship at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies in New York City. Her work is focused on developing and evaluating innovative strategies for the prevention of STD, HIV, and Hepatitis C among drug using populations.

Damián Lavarello, M.D.
Rosario's Municipal Program on AIDS, Santa Fe, Argentina

Damián Lavarello was born in 1962 in Rosario, Argentina. He graduated summa cum laude as a Medical Doctor at the National University of Rosario in 1987 and specialized in Internal Medicine and Transfusions. He is a Founding Member of the Argentine AIDS Society and since 1998, Coordinator of Rosario's Municipal Program on AIDS. Dr. Lavarello is a member of the Argentine Harm Reduction Network (REDARD) Steering Committee, Medical Director of the Andrés Program for Drug Dependency Rehabilitation, and a practicing physician with special dedication to Primary Health Care for drug users, people living with HIV, and their partners.

Paula J. Lum, M.D., M.P.H.
University of California, San Francisco, United States

Paula J. Lum, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco's Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital. She is a Co-investigator and Medical Director of several studies of HIV and hepatitis in intravenous drug users and provides primary medical care to HIV+ intravenous drug users (IDUs) at San Francisco General Hospital.

Mônica Siqueira Malta, Ph.D.
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mônica Malta, psychologist, is a Research Assistant at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among her recent publications are the following: Francisco Inácio Bastos et al. (2001). Treatment for HIV/AIDS in Brazil: strengths, challenges, and opportunities for operations research. AIDScience 1(15), November 27. (; Mônica Malta et al. Two successful experiences of caring and supporting HIV-infected DUs in RJ, Brazil. Presented at the XIII International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 3-7, 2002.

Raquel Magri, M.D.
Presidential Board on Drugs, Uruguay

Raquel Magri is a medical doctor, with postgraduate degrees in Pediatrics, Intensive Care and Neonatology. She was the Executive Secretary of the Presidential Board on Drugs (Junta Nacional de Drogas) since its creation in 1987 until 1994, when she became Regional Director of the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) for Mexico and Central America until 1996. Since March 2000, she is the General Secretary of the Board.

Rafael Mazin, M.D., M.P.H.
Pan American Health Organization, Washington DC, United States

Rafael Mazin received his degree as physician and surgeon summa cum laude from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He also has a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in the field of Community-Oriented Primary Care from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and he is a specialist in Sex Education with a postgraduate course given by the Mexican Association of Sex Education (AMES). He is Regional Advisor on HIV Prevention and Comprehensive Care for HIV/AIDS, of PAHO's Regional Program on AIDS/STD). He has experience as a sex educator and counselor. Dr. Mazin has worked for UNESCO/UNFPA in the implementation of programs of Population Education, Family-Life Education and Sex Education. He started working on HIV prevention as technical officer in charge of a joint UNESCO/WHO School AIDS Education Project. Dr. Mazin joined PAHO in 1989 to provide technical expertise in medical-social issues relevant to prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. Currently he is in charge of providing technical cooperation in the prevention-care continuum, which encompasses - among other issues - promotion of sexual health, provision of appropriate care according to available resources and by levels of provision of services and prevention of sexual and MTCT transmission of HIV.

Inés Elvira Mejía, Ph. D.
Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Inés Elvira Mejía is a psychologist at the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. She received her post doctoral degree in politics and drugs and alcohol interventions at the University of London. She has worked in the field of clinical and therapeutic areas related to HIV/AIDS and drugs, and has carried out projects on community-based prevention in the same areas. She is also coordinator of HIV research, sexual reproductive areas, and drug consumption. She coordinates the WHO multi-site study in the city of Bogota.

Fabio Mesquita, M.D., Ph.D.
STD/AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health of the City of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Fabio Mesquita received his medical doctor degree at the University of Londrina, Brazil and his Ph.D. at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. At present he is the Director of the Municipal STD/AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health of the city of Sao Paulo and Head of the HIV/AIDS Research Skills Training Course at the University of Sao Paolo School (USP) of Public Health (a collaborative project involving USP, AIDS Prevention Study Nucleus (NEPAIDS), Institute of AIDS Studies and Research at Santos (IEPAS) and the Fogarty Foundation). He is also Principal Investigator for the Santos site of the World Health Organization MultiCity Study on HIV and other Health Consequences of Injecting Drug Users - Phase II.

David Metzger, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania, United States

David Metzger, Ph.D. is Research Associate Professor and Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Division at the University of Pennsylvania/VA Medical Center, Center for Studies of Addiction. He is also the Principal investigator for the HIV Prevention Trials Unit in Philadelphia and the Chair of the Substance Use Working Group for the HIV Prevention Trial Network. Since 1989, he and colleagues from the Center have been conducting longitudinal studies of injection drug users (IDUs) from Philadelphia. Their work has been examining the factors associated with changes in HIV risk behaviors and incidence of HIV infection. Thus far, over 2,000 subjects have been enrolled in these studies known collectively as the Risk Assessment Projects (RAP). A primary objective of this work has been to provide valid and reliable data that can increase the understanding of the relationship between HIV risk behaviors and participation in substance abuse treatment.

Mariano Marcelo Montenegro, M.D.
National Council on Drug Control, Santiago, Chile

Mariano Marcelo Montenegro received his degree in medicine in 1988, as a physician-surgeon in 1991, and as a psychiatrist in 1995. He also has sub-specialization in psychiatry in children and addictions at the Complutense University of Madrid, Red Cross Hospital of Spain, obtained in 1992. At present, he is Acting Chief of the Health Area of the National Council on Drug Control (CONACE).

Graciela Moscatello, M.D.
Hospital Francisco J. Muñiz, Infectious Diseases Unit, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Medical doctor specialized in Infectious Diseases at the Emergency Department of the Infectious Diseases Hospital "F. J. Muñiz". Clinical Investigator at the Foundation for Assistance to the Immune-deficient Patient (FUNDAI). Coordinator of IDU/HIV+ patients. Coordinator of the Harm Reduction Section in the ambulatory area at FUNDAI.

Roberto Muga, M.D., Ph.D.
Metropolitan Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Roberto Muga is Associate Professor of Medicine in a 600-bed teaching hospital in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. He completed a MPH in epidemiology of infectious diseases from Johns Hopkins University. His work is focused on infectious diseases and in addiction medicine. Currently, he is involved with the organization of the XIV International Conference on AIDS, Barcelona 2002, as Scientific Coordinator.

Maria Luz Osimani, Ph.D.
Research and Development Institute (IDES), Montevideo, Uruguay

María Luz Osimani is a sociologist with a specialization in health. She is the Health Coordinator of the Research and Development Institute (IDES of Uruguay). She is a professor and researcher at the National Institute of Nursing and Medical College of the University of the Republic. Dr. Osimani is also a Board Member of the Harm Reduction Network in Latin America, RELARD, since l998.

Armando Peruga, M.D., Ph.D.
Regional Advisor on Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Armando Peruga received his degree in medicine at the University of Zaragoza in Spain and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Johns Hopkins. Currently, he is Regional Advisor on Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs at the PAHO, where he started working in 1990 as an epidemiologist for the AIDS program. Previously, he was Director of the National Health School of Spain and Director of the Regional Institute of Studies on Health and Social Welfare in Madrid.

Vladimir Poznyak, M.D., Ph.D
World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence in Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. V. Poznyak received his M.D. from Minsk State Medical University in Belarus in 1982 and is a certified psychiatrist. He has been working as a psychiatrist at the Republican Hospital of Psychiatry in Minsk (Belarus) and has focused his research on substance dependence. Dr. Poznyak received his Ph.D. from the All-Union Research Centre of Medical and Biological Problems of Addictions in Moscow (Russian Federation). While an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Social and Clinical Psychiatry Research Unit at the Minsk State Medical University, Dr. Poznyak was involved in research, clinical practice and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the fields of psychiatry and substance abuse. His main research areas range from affective disorders and suicidal behavior in alcohol dependence to school surveys on substance use and development of instruments and protocols of clinical assessment for drug treatment settings. Before joining the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence in Geneva in the year 2000, Dr. V. Poznyak coordinated several international projects in the field of substance abuse and academic psychiatry and in 1998-1999 worked at the Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco Unit of the WHO Regional Office for Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Graciela Radulich, Prof.
National University of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Graciela Radulich has a degree in social communication and is specialized in Communication and Social Projects Planning. She is Professor and Researcher at the National University of La Plata; Consultant and Evaluator for Tearfund U.K.; Coordinator of the Harm Reduction Program of the ACCRAD/El Retoño Association; Principal Researcher for various projects in the area of drug use and associated problems; and Executive Secretary of the Argentine Harm Reduction Network (REDARD).

Rafaela Robles, DS
Central University of the Caribbean's School of Medicine

Rafaela R. Robles completed her Ed.D. in Sociology at Columbia University in New York. Presently, she is Director of the Centre for Addiction Studies and the Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands Addiction Technology Transfer Centre. She has been conducting research at the Central University of the Caribbean's School of Medicine as a Senior Researcher in the field of HIV/AIDS since the epidemic began in Puerto Rico in the late 1980s. Dr. Robles and her team have multiple publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations in national and international conferences.

Diana Rossi, DSW
Intercambios Civil Association and the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Diana Rossi is a social worker, specialized in social problems of youth. She is the Research Coordinator at the Intercambios Civil Association; Professor at the Social Sciences School of the University of Buenos Aires. Author of numerous national and international papers on AIDS and drug use, she is also a member of the Global Research Network on HIV Prevention in Drug Using Populations (GRN).

Walter Royal, M.D.
Morehouse School of Medicine, United States

Walter Royal is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Neurology, and Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Morehouse School of Medicine where he is the Director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the School's Neuroscience Institute. His clinical interests include the treatment of neurological complications of HIV-1 infection, and his research involves investigations of retinoid compounds and substances of abuse as immunomodulators in HIV+ individuals.

Sergio Sosa Estani, M.D., Ph.D.
National Center for Diagnosis and Research on Endemoepidemics, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sergio Alejandro Sosa Estani is the Head of the Epidemiology Service at the National Center for Diagnosis and Research on Endemoepidemics (CENDIE), "Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán", Ministry of Health, Argentina. He has a Masters in Public Health from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil (1990) and a doctoral degree from the School of Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1999), with a specialization in endemiological and clinical research in tropical and emergent diseases.

Waleska Teixeira Caiaffa, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D.
Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Waleska Teixeira Caiaffa is an MD, MPH, ScD. She is Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She is also a Consultant for the Ministry of Health, and was the Principal Investigator of two multicenter studies on Harm Reduction and HIV/Aids in Brazil in 1998 and in 2000-2001. She received the National Institutes of Health, Individual National Research Award, Postdoctoral fellowship, ADAMHA - NIDA, and the Fogarty International Training Grant, National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service.

Graciela Touzé, DSW
Intercambios and University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Graciela Touzé is a Social Worker, specialized in social sciences and health at the Latin American Social Sciences School (FLASCO) and the Center for Studies on Government and Society (CEDE). Currently, she is President of Intercambios, a civil association geared to the study of drug-use problems. She is professor in the School of Social Sciences and in the Master Programs on the Problem of Misuse of Drugs at the University of Buenos Aires. She was a founding member and Executive Director of the Latin American Harm Reduction Network (RELARD). She is also a member of the Global Research Network on HIV Prevention in Drug Using Populations (GRN).

Barbara J. Turner, M.D., MSEd
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States

Barbara J. Turner is a Professor of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She is also the Director of the Physician Scientist Fellowship in General Medicine, an Associate Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and a physician with an active practice. Her research has focused most recently on studies of the epidemiology and health care of drug users with HIV infection. She has also focused studies of factors associated with maternal-child HIV transmission and adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

Mercedes Weissenbacher, M.D., Ph.D.
National Reference Center for AIDS, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr. Mercedes Weissenbacher is the Scientific Director at the National Reference Center for AIDS, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, where she was Full Professor of the Chair of Microbiology. She is also the Principal Investigator (PI) at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research in Argentina. Between 1990/1999 she was PI on AIDS research at the AIDS Program (PAHO/WHO), Washington DC. Then, she was appointed as Intercountry Program Advisor on AIDS for the Southern Cone at PAHO/WHO and later at UNAIDS in Montevideo, Uruguay. She has published 130 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and has made multiple presentations in national and international conferences.

Fernando Zacarías, M.D., Ph.D.
Regional Program for AIDS/STDs, Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO), Washington DC, United States

Fernando Zacarías is currently the Coordinator of the Regional Program for AIDS/STD at PAHO. He is a Mexican physician, specialized in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Emory in Atlanta. He did his postdoctoral in Public Health at the University of Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts. Before working for PAHO as a Regional Advisor on sexually transmitted diseases, Dr Zacarías was a visiting researcher at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Zacarías has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS/STD in all American countries since the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in the 1980's.

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